Saturday, June 7, 2014

BEA'14 Recap Post

Hi everyone and welcome to the 2014 edition of my Book Expo America recap post.  This will be the first of two post with part 1 focussing on the event itself, the authors & the bloggers. Stay tuned for my book haul recap post coming up in part 2.  BEA'14 was held at the Javits Center in the phenomenal New-York City.  For more information on the event or to register for future events, visit the BEA website.
This year marked my second time visiting New-York City and my second time attending Book Expo America (read last year's ridiculously gushy BEA'13 recap post here). I found that this time around I was a lot less overwhelmed by both the city and event itself so I was able to soak it all in and enjoy myself a lot more!  I know I'm not alone when I say that authors are my rockstars, so getting the chance to meet up with many of them, chat books and other bookish things means EVERYTHING.  Not only that, the fact that as bloggers we are all getting together under one roof to be unashamedly bookish together is just plain AWESOME.  We all know no one else gets us like other bookworms so being able to meet many virtual friends in real life is pretty freaking amazing!  I love bookish people ♥

As a second-timer at BEA, it felt easier to chat up fellow bloggers.  I mean, chances are a lot of the other people there are just as awkward as I might feel right?!  Anyways, chatting about books is a perfect ice-breaker for fellow bookish people.  I was also much better at exchanging business cards with other bloggers.  It's a great way to be remembered amongst the crowd - not to mention it will help you remember who you chatted up when you get back home so you can follow them and stay in touch! Being able to relax take it all in stride was key for me this year but since I was more familiar with the Javits Center layout and how things were going to work, it was a lot easier.

BEA Exhibits Entrance @ Javits

My least favorite part of BEA was BookCon itself.  Last year it was called 'Power-Reader' day and it seemed to go off without a hitch.  This year instead of 1000 power-readers, they sold 8000+ tickets to BookCon.  The BookCon peeps were only allowed in one section of the Javits so picture an already crowded and slightly chaotic venue and then add 8000+ new people - including youth and their parents. The event simply was not organized to handle that many extra people.  Plus for some reason that morning we weren't allowed to line up for signings like the other days which lead to chaos and in some cases panic.  It made me sad in light of how incredibly well the event was organized the two first days - and the year before!  Hopefully the organizers will keep this in mind when planning for next year's event.

With that being said, let's move on to recapping the awesomeness of event itself.  Once again this year, I travelled to NYC with Giselle of Xpresso Reads. We arrived in New York City Tuesday evening and had a full day Wednesday left to explore the city. So Wednesday morning we headed out to the Javits Center where BEA is held to sign in and pick up our badges so we wouldn't have to wait in line with the crowd early Thursday Morning.

*********************************************************************************

Day 1 of BEA was Thursday which kicked off with the Harlequin Teen Author Breakfast.  I was lucky to attend the invite-only event for a second time this year, which featured Julie Kagawa (Talon), Jennifer L. Armentrout,  Alexandra Adornetto (Ghost House), Adi Alsaid (Let's Get Lost) and Robin Talley (Lies We Tell Ourselves). It was fun to be able to sit with each and every one of these authors and learn more about their books.  A huge thank you to Lisa Wray and the rest of the Harlequin Staff in attendance for putting the entire thing together, gifting us with ALL the books and a fabulous tote-bag...not to mention feeding and caffeinating us so early in the morning ;-)

Julie Kagawa & Jennifer L. Armentrout (Photos via Xpresso Reads) 

After that we headed straight for the event floor where be scouted for galley drops and got in line for signings.  As usual, everything was laid out simply - booths and events were easy to find.  If you ever get lost, there's always staff hanging around all over ready to help - and they're easy to spot with their matching t-shirts and hand-held signs. Author-wise, the highlights of the day included stalking Jennifer L. Armentrout at the signing for Lux Beginnings, the Garth Nix signing for Clariel, the Jeaniene Frost signing for The Beautiful Ashes - which I started while waiting in line at another signing - it looks great so far!, the Melissa De La Cruz signing for The Ring & the Crown, and a Sophie Davis signing of Talented.

 Meeting Garth Nix & Stalking Jennifer L. Armentrout at their signings

As for unsigned book highlights, day 1 was all about Zodiac by Romina Russell, The Jewel by Amy Ewing, The Walled City by Ryan Graudin, Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater and Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis.

This was also the day I got to meet Anya over at On Starships & Dragonwings which was seriously cool!  Anya was one of the first bloggers I stalked when I was starting out and since we tend to read and love the same books (fantasy!) I was thrilled to find her in the crowd and chat books!


*********************************************************************************

BEA Day 2 was more or less ALL about Sarah J. Maas and Heir of Fire for me- I'm not gonna lie. After doing a quick run around first thing in the morning for galley-drops, I headed straight to the signing area to get in line and wait for her arrival at 11 am. The line for her was completely insane but luckily I was #45 and after a 1½ hour wait, I finally met one of my all-time favorite authors! To say I was giddy and fangirling was an total understatement.  I thought I might cry and had to reign myself in more than once. SJM looks like a straight up Disney Princess (for real) and she was just as lovely a person as she looks ♥ After meeting her though I needed to catch my breath & recoup with some food hehe

Deliriously happy in line for SJM and then meeting the Queen herself  - do I look excited? Nah!

Other bookish and author highlights that day included Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper  (Witches!! Eeep.), The Young World by Chris Weitz, The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black, and Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld.

Blogger-wise, day 2 was the day I got to meet the beautiful Nikki of There Were Books Involved and Octavia at Read Sleep Repeat which was epic and definitely a high point of the event!  I also got to sit down and chat with Anya again before she left Javits  :)


After BEA that day was the Book Blogger Picnic!  A massive shout out goes out to Alexa of Alexa Loves Books, Andrea of The Overstuffed Bookcase, Kate of Kate's Tales of Books and Bands & Jen from YA Romantics  for putting the entire event together.  It was held at Central Park and was attended by the nicest bloggers I've ever met.  I got to see Nikki and Octavia again not to mention Tiff at Mostly YA Lit (a fellow Canadian!), Jessica at Lovin' Los Libros, Jennifer at Live to Read Love to Read Nicole of Feed Your Fiction Addiction, Rebekka at Endlessly Bookish and Jessica of Jessie Marie Reads to name a few!  We ate cake, chatted books and some people even brought books to giveaway, also know as that time I was lucky enough to snag The Darkest Minds (FINALLY) by Alexandra Braken. Thank you anonymous blogger donner, whoever you are :D  After taking a few fabulous pics on 'blogger rock' (hehe), it started to rain so a bunch of us headed out to McGee's Pub for drinks and more bookish chats. It was honestly a blast and I loved getting to know these fabulous ladies even better!

 Group Shots on 'Blogger Rock' courtesy of Alexa Loves Books

Mmmmmm Cake!!!!
*********************************************************************************

BEA Day 3 - AKA BookCon day. Short version: it was chaos. The BookCon crowd was only allowed in one section which also happened to be where all the signings too place.  That side of Javits was quickly dubbed 'The Dark Side' by fellow blogger.   I missed a signing for Alexandra Braken's Never Fade because after being told we could get in line 40 minutes before, then 20 minutes before, and then 5 only to get trapped in a MOB of chaos, traffic jams and general insanity, I decided escaping with my life and sanity was more important o.O  Since the others signings I wanted for JLA (The Return, A Titan Novel) and Libba Bray (The Diviners) were all at the same time I missed those too.  Sad face.

Once I was safely on the Light Side again (and after a quick sit down to regroup), I managed to snag some much coveted books.  After a quick lunch, I braved the Dark Side one last time to see if there was a chance for the Soman Chainani signing (A World Without Princes - The School for Good and Evil #2).  The chaos seemed to have (somewhat) passed and since there was an actual line this time I waited it out.  I'd met him last year so I was very excited to get to chat with him again!  After that I returned to safety, met up with Nikki again, and got a few more goodies before me & Giselle decided to head out to our hotel.

Book highlights of the day: The Scorpio Races & Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick and The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

*For more pictures of the BEA experience, check out the album I posted on the blog's Facebook page*

To sum it up: I mentioned in last year's recap post that attending BEA was one of the highlights of my life. This year was no exception.  I will carry all the people I met in my heart forever and same goes for the books ♥ It was an incredible experience and one that I hope to repeat next year!  To anyone who's ever debated attending: DO IT!  I promise you won't regret it.

STAY TUNED for Part 2 of the BEA'14 recap featuring my Book Haul - 
It'll be up as a StS post this week-end!

38 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for writing this down. I feel so sad that I wasn't able to join in all the fun, but I love reading about everyone's experience :D It makes it easier to imagine what it will be like! I've seen some of the chaos pictures from the third day. SO CROWDED.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww thanks Mel xxxx I always enjoy reading other people's posts like this even when I don't get to attend the event so it means a lot to hear that you enjoyed mine :D I hope I get to meet you and one of these events soon!!

      Delete
  2. So glad you had such a blast! I wish I could come, hopefully next year! :D
    I would be this giddy myself if I met Maas, love your face hahaha :D ♥

    Come check out my giveaways:
    MHAM 1 & MHAM 2
    DRC

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ULA I'm still holding out hope you'll come next year and WE CAN MEET!!! And yes Maas brought out my ultimate fan-girl self ahahahha ♥ Thanks for stopping by xxxx

      Delete
  3. Wonderful recap! This made me feel better about not being able to go this year. I was curious about BookCon too - it's unfortunate it was so disorganized, I hope they will have a better handle on it next year. The Book Blogger Picnic is an awesome idea too - kudos to those bloggers for putting it together!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well I'm glad I could help with that Charlene hehe - BookCon was the only thing that wasn't positive but it was such chaos that it really took it's toll that day O.O Hopefully next year they are better prepared! The Picnic was a brilliant idea, the organizers really did a wonderful job :D

      Delete
  4. I couldn't wait to read your recap post! :D I LOVE your pic with SJM! I think I would have passed out just seeing the prettiful copies of Heir of Fire, lol. I'm so, so happy you got to spend an extra day just adventuring around the city, too! And a big huzzah for The Darkest Minds! I think you'll really enjoy that one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww thanks Lee! Yeah I was really bordering on delirium just thinking about actually meeting her XD And of course just looking at the HoF arcs made me giddy too! And yeah I thought of you the SECOND I nabbed The Darkest Minds ;-) Having the extra time to explore NYC was a HUGE plus, I hardly felt like I'd gotten to see any of it last year but this year I felt like a pro haha

      Delete
  5. Hey Micheline! It was so fantastic meeting you as well!! One of the best parts of BEA for me is always seeing who I end up next to in line:) Looks like you had a fantastic BEA and got some amazing books, and now that I'm following you I can't wait to check out your reviews!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree - the random meetings and chat ups with fellow bloggers make up the best part of BEA :D Thanks so much for stopping by and following ♥ Again it was awesome to meet you xxxx

      Delete
  6. MICHELINE!!!!!!! (I know how to say your name now!!! yay! lol) You were seriously a highlight of my BEA experience, too. <3333 I would have been devastated if we hadn't been able to meet and hang out!

    (Also um, totally a side-effect of all the craziness, but I do not remember that picture of you and Octavia and Giselle and me. O_O When did that happen?!?!)

    But seriously, this recap was perfect. Especially the bit about The Dark Side. That was terrifying and AHHH. -_- (Although I did brave it to get that TOTES BOOKS tote. Which, in hindsight, was worth it, but STILL OMG.)

    <3333333333 and here's to BEA15!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HAHAHAHA YAY!!! You were also a HUGE highlight of BEA for me!! I *needed* to meet you and I'm thrilled we met up 3x and chatted :D Oh and that pic was taken after you were in line for Holly Black (I think...or maybe you were still in the Holly Black line...) We jumped in for a quick selfie before we had to run off LOL

      Thanks so much for the AWESOME comment here ^^ I'm glad the totes bag was 'totes' worth braving the Dark Side ;-D - see what I did there? And YES HERE'S TO BEA15 ♥♥♥♥♥

      Delete
    2. AHHHH YES!!! That very well could've been when Octavia and I were totally-not-the-first-in-any-line for Holly Black, lol. Do you mind if I snag that pic for my post? Did Giselle take that??

      I TOTES see what you did there. (Oh man this never gets old, lol!)

      Delete
    3. LOL I think it was around that time for sure!! And yeah Giselle took it actually, she sent me a copy but it's from her camera!

      BAHAHAH oh man, I laughed XD

      Delete
  7. It was so great meeting you Micheline! One of the things I love about BEA is meeting everyone. I look forward to hopefully seeing you next year too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Katie and thanks so much for stopping by! I love meeting bloggers at BEA and yes hopefully we'll meet up again next year :D

      Delete
  8. You look so awesomely happy in all your pictures, love it :D. It was so so so awesome meeting you and getting to chat on both days <3 Someday I need to visit Canada, haha.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I look totally delirious LOL Agreed, it was fantastic meeting you too!! And if ever you're in Canada let me know :D

      Delete
  9. I loved meeting you this year! I wish we could have snagged some pics though, :(

    Glad you had a great time! And BookCon is a no go for next year LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed, I always forget to take pics and then regret it once I get home :( Hopefully next year though:-) and agreed: NO BookCon haha

      Delete
  10. Replies
    1. Yeah it was a little too nuts for me >.<

      Delete
  11. HI!! loved reading your recap!! So glad we got to meet at BEA, it's so much fun meeting so many bloggers! haha your pictures with sarah j maas look pretty much exactly like how i felt when i met her too!! I was all AHH OMG. And she's so pretty! also - yeah bookcon was straight up crazy and insane. :/ I only braved it for the Return! anyway, I"m so glad I met you!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Wendy and I'm thrilled we got to meet up too :D Meeting bloggers is pretty much THE best part of it!! And yeah I was beyond giddy and kind of delirious just thinking about meeting SJM! And yeah BookCon was scary, just thinking about those mess of crowds makes me anxious o_O Thanks for stopping by xxxxx

      Delete
  12. Ahhhh this looks like you had the most amazing time again! I'm so glad you got to meet SJM :D that looks like an absolute dream come true. Cannot wait to see your book haul though :D xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awwww thanks SO much hun xxxxx It was truly wonderful...and I was completely over the moon about SJM ♥ My haul's coming up for my StS...as soon as I finish linking things up >.< haha

      Delete
  13. Looks like you had a blast at BEA and it was great to meet you at the picnic! I am so sad it is over and cannot wait to go back again. Hope you enjoy all the goodies you grabbed =]

    Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was great meeting you too :D I'm sad it's already over too and already looking forward to next year!! Thanks Teresa xxxx

      Delete
  14. I'm glad it was so fabulous but oh wow, the chaos! I'm glad you stayed safe!

    <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mia, it was a blast - except for the last day insanity hehe Thanks for stopping by ♥

      Delete
  15. Yay -- glad you had so much fun and so happy you could come to the picnic. I was feeling terrible that day, so the picnic was a bit of a blur. The only positive side was that I stayed home in bed on Sat and missed BookCon, which I heard was way overcrowded.
    Hope to see you next year. I'm going to be popping vitamin C and using Purell obsessively next year so that I will feel in top shape!
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww, sorry to hear you weren't feeling great at the picnic! But hey, if that meant skipping BookCon well at least *some* good came out of it. I'm definitely planning to return for BEA15 so hopefully we'll meet up again then :D And yes pop that Vitamin C at least the full week before next year hehe Thanks for stopping by Jen!!

      Delete
  16. Sounds like an absolutely amazing time-great recap! I love reading them :) All of it seems so fun, I definitely want to go one day. Huge crowds are really intimidating, I was in San Diego right around the time of Comic Con and I was like D: the whole time, haha. Glad you had fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Alise and I hope you do get to attend BEA some day - like you I find big crowds intimidating but for some reason, crowds of bookish people don't seem to bad. Except at BookCon o.O LOL @ you during Comic Con - that's another thing I'd LOVE to attend haha Thanks for visiting ♥

      Delete
  17. The look on your face!! Pure ecstasy. LOVE IT :) So glad to hear BEA Year 2 was a great, relaxing experience for you (minus BookCon) and you got to meet so many bloggers and authors! I'm envious, for sure, but just seeing that look of joy on your face is enough to assure me that you did not take the experience for granted. Maybe one year I'll be able to make it and we could meet up! That would be the best :D

    PS. I see you are currently reading Heir of Fire!! Sooo, is it amazing so far??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL I was so giddy I couldn't contain myself XD Yeah the second time around was much more chill (minus BookCon) so I really could appreciate everything a lot better. Oh I would absolutely ADORE it if you came to BEA and we could meet up and go nuts together through all the bookish fun :D

      Oh and I've only *just* started the first pages of HoF and considering how much I missed Celaena, it feels fantastic to be back. I'm hoping to make some MAJOR progress in the next few days though!!

      Delete
  18. Aww, Micheline, I LOVED meeting you and Giselle - I was like, "CANADIANS! YES!" It was great chatting with you guys at the picnic and McGee's afterwards. You got so many books - how did you guys cart them all home? =)

    I'm specifically not looking at your comment above the bar about Heir of Fire - still haven't read the first two! =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I LOVED meeting you too - a fellow Canadian and everything :D And yes the picnic was a blast and so was McGee's after, SO MUCH FUN chatting with all of you ♥ We drove up so all the books were loaded in our suitcases/bags and stuffed in the trunk and surrounding us all LOL

      Gah! I hope you read ToG, CoM AND HoF soon!!! ;-D

      Delete

I LOVE comments & do my best to return every one a.s.a.p. ♥
This blog is an award-free zone. I appreciate the thought but I can't invest the time needed.